The grip is made of the same nylon/glass fibers as the stock. It is securely attached to the receiver and there is no sign of weakness. There are textured molds in the grip that allow for a secure grip. On the bottom of the grip are vents that allow the motor to release its sound. The grip’s end helps to decrease motor noise. The trigger is made of metal and is easy to pull. It is responsive and does not seem prone to break unless overly exerted strength is used. Replacement and/or upgraded grips can be found at a fair number of airsoft retailers for a fair price of around $40.
The bolt cover is made of aluminum and is held to the body with a small magnet. A spring allows the cover to slap open when the cover is engaged. Unlike Tokyo Marui, the cover has to be manually opened. The magnet allows for easy access to the hop-up without wearing away plastic nubs, found on Tokyo Marui models. Classic Army has slightly curved the bolt cover outwards as so you do not have to use a knife or other tools. I can even use a gloved hand to open the bolt cover. However, underneath the bolt cover is an ugly sheet of thin aluminum that is meant to attract the magnet of the bolt cover. It does not move, like the Tokyo Marui models and must be manually shifted. When the aluminum bolt is in your hands (separate from the body), it is extremely thin and can bend easily, so be careful when handling it. Replacement bolt covers are available at a limited number of airsoft retailers for a fair price of around $30.
Bolt CoverT-Handle (Charging Handle)
When I took my gun out of the box and cocked the T-handle, the handle just flopped around. Later, upon disassembly, I found the T-handle and the spring was disconnected. I just looped the end of the spring onto the T-handle’s hook and the problem was fixed. The T-handle is another weak part of the gun. The spring is weak and much too long. As a result, the T-handle pulls too easily and does not return unless manually engaged. The t-handle itself is made of metal. The spring could be cut, but I am guessing that the spring is too weak and would stretch. I would get a harder spring and twist the ends so it can be looped onto the hook of the T-handle and the screw inside the receiver that holds it in place. Replacement T-handles can be found at a limited number of airsoft retailers for a decent price of/over $30.
Note: It is extremely important to open the T-handle BEFORE disassembly. The T-handle latch will break when the receivers are slid forward.
Charging Handle (T-handle)Sights
The sights are of good quality and its components are made of metal. They are easily adjustable (horizontal wheel for up/down, vertical wheel for left/right) and require no tools. The rear sight can be flipped to a small circle or larger circle. The smaller circle is for precision firing, whereas the larger is for full auto. When the rear sight moves up, it is loose, but it will not fall off or make a large racket. The front sight is also made of metal. The vertical rod can be adjusted vertically with the included tool inside the box. However, the small newbie in front of the rod must be pushed down while adjusting or the plastic tool will be damaged. Replacement sights can be found at a fair number of airsoft retailers for a fair price with the purchase of a replacement carry handle of around $60. Replacement adjustment tools can be found at a rare number of airsoft retailers for a low price of around $5.
Rear SightForegrip and Outer Barrel
This is another strength that Classic Army has made over Tokyo Marui. Tokyo Marui uses a two piece outer barrel design and is fastened with 6 screws. This leads to the infamous “barrel wobble” which affects accuracy and is a pain to fix. Classic Army uses a one piece metal outer barrel design that is connected to the receiver with a reinforced slip ring. “Barrel wobble” will never be an issue with this model. The barrel is rock solid and shows no sign of wobble whatsoever. The foregrip, like the grip and stock, is made of glass and nylon fibers. It is finely textured and provides an excellent grip. Replacement/upgraded handguards can be found at most airsoft retailers for a high price of around $110 upgraded (RAS/RIS). Replacement outer barrels can be found at a fair number of airsoft retailers for a decent price of around $50.
The metal high capacity magazine that Classic Army provides comes standard with the M15A4 Rifle. It holds 300 rounds and is operated like any other high capacity magazine. Ammunition is poured into the hatch (I use a funnel to help direct the BBs) and the magazine must be wound frequently to force the BBs through the inlet. The winding wheel can be found at the bottom of the magazine. A distinct clicking sound can be heard one the winding is complete (it takes a while). Extended winding will not damage the mechanism. A small switch on the inlet allows for the BBs to pour out. The aluminum that the magazine is made of seems to be thinner than Tokyo Marui’s, but once the BBs are poured in, the weight is substantial. My paint on my magazine wears off easily, especially where the magazine meets contact with the magazine well. Also, the magazine is smaller than the magazine well and it rattles all over the place. I used two layers of electrical tape wound over part of the magazine. The tape allows the magazine to be tighter inside the well and stops all the rattling. The magazine has to be pushed in or pulled out though. The magazine can be removed with the magazine release button on the right side of the magazine well. Replacement/upgraded magazines can be found at most airsoft retailers for a decent price of around $30 high capacity or $20 low capacity.
Note: Should mis-feeding or double-shooting occur, which it may, spray silicon lube for 2 seconds into the magazine itself. Also, spray lube into the hop-up feeding inlet for 3 seconds. Finally, spray for 2 seconds down the barrel. These methods should help to reduce/eliminate mis-feeds and double-feeds.
High-Capacity 300rd Magazine (Side)Selector Switch
The selector switch is made of metal. It clicks into place at any of the three settings (safe, semi-automatic, fully automatic) and usually stays there. However, there is some slight movement when the selector switch is on a setting, but it is not problematic. I believe it can be tightened if it becomes loose. Replacement selector switches can be found at a limited number of airsoft retailers for a low price of around $20.
Selector SwitchHop-up Chamber
The stock hop-up chamber that Classic Army provides is quite durable. Its metal construction will never allow it to bend/break/snap. The wheels and other components of the chamber are plastic. Turning the adjustment wheel clockwise increases hop-up, while turning it counter-clockwise decreases it. I found the optimal hop-up setting to maintain the straightest, horizontal path with a .25g BB was almost at maximum setting. Using BBs higher than .25g may be hard to keep range, as the hop-up chamber may not be able to create enough backspin. If the adjustment wheel does not stay in its position towards the higher settings, the wheel may have to be tightened. Simply use a screwdriver to tighten the screw on the center of the wheel. To remove the hop-up chamber from the barrel, remove the hop-up retainer clip (c-shaped clamp). Slowly, using a combination of twists and pulls, pull the hop-up chamber off the barrel. The hop-up rubber may be twisted and stretched during the process. Spray silicone lube to help ease the chamber off the barrel and hop-up sleeve. Do not force the chamber off, as the sleeve may be torn. To reassemble, reverse the steps, taking care to align the sleeve’s indent (located inside the sleeve) with the barrel’s indent. Spray lube onto the surface of the hop-up sleeve so it is easier to push the chamber onto it.
Hop-Up Chamber with BarrelPerformance
As I do not have professional equipment to test performance, I can only describe what I see as I shoot the M15A4 Rifle. I used a 3300mah 8.4v large battery and .25g Airsoft Elite Precision Grade BBs and .25g Excel Biodegradable BBs. After loading the BBs into the magazine and winding it, I shot a few rounds in semi-automatic. The shots curved down noticeably. After accessing the hop-up, I adjusted around until the BBs flew as horizontally as possible. The optimal hop-up setting is almost at maximum hop-up. The BBs flew significantly farther than my homemade paintball range (45 feet; measured by tape marker) The BBs probably flew 150+ feet effectively. When the initial velocity was lost, the hop-up’s backspin counteracted gravity’s pull and “floated.” Rate of fire is surprisingly high, especially for me, as this was my first AEG. In semi-automatic, the shots were fairly accurate. The M15A4’s extremely long barrel (509mm) guides the BBs effectively and leads to good accuracy at distance or close range. I was able to hit a pie plate consistently at 45 feet, hit large-sized cups at about 60 feet consistently, and hit large targets at extreme range of about 200 feet. The original bore size is 6.08, so I highly recommend a tightbore barrel to significantly increase power and accuracy. Accuracy on semi-automatic is good, but the spread enlarges when switched to fully automatic. I would use automatic only in shorter distances. At long range, BBs would be wasted. Power of the M15A4 Rifle is higher than stock Tokyo Marui guns. I was able to make large dents in a garden rake’s solid wood laminated handle, planks of wood, shoot clear through a can, and tear through pie plates extremely easily. Actual FPS is hard to predict, but the manual states 85-95 meters per second. The gun is relatively quiet on semi-automatic, but when engaged in fully-automatic, the noise is quite loud. Overall, power, accuracy, and rate of fire is amazing on this model.Maintenance
-Unclip battery and remove pellets from magazine and remove magazine when in storage
-Never reuse BBs, as they could be dirty, chipped, etc. and will jam the gun
-Decompress the spring after shooting full auto by shooting semi-automatic for 3-4 shots
-Thread 1x3 cm cotton through needle eye of cleaning rod; spray with 100% silicon oil approved for metal/rubber; run through barrel until red line meets end of barrel and repeat until black spots disappear; MAKE SURE HOP-UP IS SET TO ZERO before cleaning barrel/hop-up chamber. Otherwise the chamber and/or the hop-up sleeve can be damaged
-Do not go into the mechanical box unless you have to
-Clean the exterior with dampened cloth so that dirt/dust do not build up; wipe with dry cloth afterwards so rust does not occur
-Make sure no dust/dirt gets into hop-up chamber (close the dust cover when in storage)
-Regularly tighten screws, bolts, etcTo disassemble:
-Disengage the T-handle
-Remove the two frame lock pins with a screwdriver or allen wrench (depending on pins)
-Pull the upper receiver forward (this is difficult at first)
-Lift the upper receiver off
-Pull out barrel with hop-up unit attached at end
Note: Pulling the receivers apart is difficult at first. You will need to disassemble frequently to ease the process. Silicone lube may help when sprayed on contact points of the two receivers.
Disassembled M15A4 Rifle
-Buy a new hop-up sleeve. The stock CA hop-up rubber is slightly under-quality. I noticed a definite improvement when I used a Systema Hop-Up sleeve.
-Your barrel may need tightening to make it 100% solid. Take off the handguards, use pliers, and twist the toothed ring clockwise. It will force the barrel to twist onto the receiver threads more tightly. Pliers are acceptable, but can scratch the ring (wrap a cloth around the ring, then use pliers). Classic Army has a handguard adjustment tool available, but it is hard to find.
-Apply one to two layers of electrical tape around the upper portion of the magazine. It will help to prevent mis-feeds and will eliminate wobbling.
-If you want, you can put a dab of super-glue underneath the bolt-catch to prevent it from rattling around. It sounds sophisticated when it moves, but you can eliminate the sound by a simple glue-job. Only a dab is needed; too much super-glue can lead to a messy problem
-If any scratches appear on the receiver’s finish, a simple black permanent marker can hide most/all of the scratchRecommended Stores
-AirSplat.com: Excellent customer service, low prices, and speedy service. Highly recommend.
-BatterySpace.com: Lowest prices available for AEG batteries and chargers. Highly recommend.
-21stcenturyairsoft.com: Abundance of parts and accessories for your Classic Army AEG
-hotspotairsoft.com: Excellent customer service. When e-mailing, you get a personal e-mail from a helper himself. Will help you in any way he can. Low prices, fair abundance of accessories and parts.
-evike.com: Has an impressively large selection of upgrade and spare parts. Great prices on supplies and products.Conclusion
I found this model to be extremely satisfying. The M15A4 Rifle has everything I was looking for in an airsoft gun. This model is high quality and in my opinion, is better than Tokyo Marui’s M16A2. It packs tremendous firepower while maintaining accuracy, has many realistic parts, and feels solid and durable. Pros:
Extremely solid build- no creak, flex, or squeaks
Excellent quality- most of the components are superior in build
Power- higher than Tokyo Marui stock guns
Accuracy- increased accuracy at range from long barrel
Rate of fire- decent with 8.4v; could be improved with batteries up to 12v
Reliability- despite Classic Army’s problematic past, the M15A4 is reliable internally and externally
Detail- trademarks, material, and components are extremely detailedCons:
Versatility- the gun is rather long (1069mm; length estimated) and is heavy
Magazine- it is thinner and the paint comes off easily
Aluminum sheet bolt- thin, weak, shiny, must be moved manually
T-handle- too long of spring, weak spring, weak return
Hop-Up Sleeve- slightly under par with higher quality hop-up makers (Systema recommended)
The pros definitely outweigh the cons in my opinion. Classic Army has produced an amazing model that combines cosmetics, functionality, and realism. I recommend this model to those who are considering it. It is superior to Tokyo Marui’s M16A2, A1, VN, in build, power, and realism. I feel this purchase was worth the money with the Classic Army M15A4 Rifle.
An Amazing Model, the M15A4 Rifle
Edited by New Guy on the Block, 01 December 2005 - 07:03 PM.